Edith Womack, 89: Former Toco Hill bookstore manager

Edith Womack loved to read a variety of books, but one in particular.

The Bible.

Whatever community she lived in, she taught Sunday school in a nearby church. Oakhurst Baptist Church in Decatur. Oconee Baptist Church in Bethlehem. Edwards Chapel Baptist Church in Athens.

Likewise, she made a career working with the written word.

For nearly 20 years, Mrs. Womack worked for Miller's Bookstore, a metro Atlanta chain that had stores in Decatur, downtown Atlanta and Toco Hills. She started out as a clerk and worked her way up to become manager of the Toco Hills location.

So you can imagine what it must have been like to lose the ability to read. Mrs. Womack was diagnosed with reticular degeneration in 2001. The last few years of her life were sad times because she couldn't see well. The disease eventually robbed her of practically all her sight. It got to the point she couldn't even see well enough to operate the cassette player to listen to books on tape.

"Of course, she liked to read a lot of church stuff because one of her favorite things was teaching Sunday school," said her son Larry Womack of Eatonton. "It was a big part of her life. She loved books. That was one of the sad parts of her last few years."

It was just as tough for her when she had to stop driving.  The decision wasn't her doing.

"I took her driver's license away from her," her son said. "She didn't speak to me for for six months after that. She had an old Ford Taurus that she drove up until probably 2001. She was an exceptional lady."

On Tuesday, Edith J. Womack of Eatonton died at the Eatonton Health Care Center from heart failure. She was 89. Because most of her friends have passed, she requested a brief visitation period and graveside service.

Visitation will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at Oconee Memorial Chapel in Watkinsville. The graveside service takes place at 2:30 p.m. the same day at Oconee Memorial Park Cemetery. Oconee Chapel Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Womack was born in the North Georgia town of Lula, the middle child of six born to the late Vasco and Lonnie Cagle Jones. The family moved to Decatur when her father got a better-paying job with the Southern Railroad.

Mrs. Womack was married for 58 years to the late William Marvin Womack Sr. They married young, when she was one quarter away from graduating high school.

"I think she was a freshman and he was a senior when they met," her son Larry said. "Back then, getting married so young was fairly normal, but she always regretted not finishing high school. I think she made up for it by reading all the time."

"Her goal in life was to be a grand wife and mother," said another son, Bill Womack Jr. of Suwanee. "She was a Cub Scout den mother and was totally devoted to everything my brother and I did, ballgames and everything."

Additional survivors include four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

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